Alenia Pulls out of AFA at Last Minute

RSS

Alenia North America, a key contender in the upcoming USAF T-38C replacement competition, is a no-show at the annual Air Force Assn. meeting in Orlando Feb. 21-22.

The company had been slated to occupy the prime slot, right next to the entry of the exhibit floor. And, when Finmeccanica, which owns Alenia, does a booth, you know it. True to the company's Italian roots, the booth is often the brightest and shiniest -- draped in red and decked out with good food and displays. The Italians aren't known to do shows half-way.

The hole left here at the show by Alenia, however, left the Air Force Assn. to hastily crafted a huge information booth and lounge space here. The spot is adjacent to T-X competitors Lockheed Martin, which is offering the T-50 with Korea Aerospace Industries, and Northrop Grumman, offering a Hawk with teammate BAE.

The last-minute reversal comes after the CEO of Italian-based Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi, was arrested for corruption charges. And it comes only weeks after Alenia announced its alliance with U.S.-based General Dynamics; the show would have been an ideal venue for the team to debut its marketing campaign. The pair is proposing an M346-based option to the Air Force for the T-X competition.

But, the competition timeline is slipping. And, with executives in Rome being booked for corruption, perhaps the North America arm of Alenia opted to simply take a low profile.

By contrast, Beechcraft, which just emerged from bankruptcy, is happy to be here and showing its renewed flag. The company is vying against a Sierra Nevada/Embraer team for the Air Force's Light  Air Support contract. The service was slated to announce a winner tomorrow, but that has slipped to next week.

Alenia, however, is not the only one not to show up. Attendance and traffic are low this year on the exhibit floor owing to the uncertainty with the defense budget.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Ares?

Aviation Week's defense blog

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.

 

Aug 27, 2015
blog

Aviation Week Lifts Veil On Boeing B-52 Bomber (1952) 12

In 1952, Aviation Week provided the first details on the new Boeing B-52 bomber....More
Aug 14, 2015
blog

Bonanza Travel Pays 3

The legendary Beechcraft Bonanza has an impressive production record, so perhaps the marketers back in 1949 were onto something when they coined the phrase "Bonanza travel pays."...More
Aug 14, 2015
blog

Venerable Boeing 727 Prototype To Fly Again 28

The most famous 727, the prototype aircraft which would join United as N7001U, was delivered to the airline in October 1964 having served its time as a Boeing test aircraft....More
Aug 13, 2015
blog

Aviation Week And The Bomb

Aviation News did not predict how nuclear weapons would change the world. But neither did anyone else....More
Aug 13, 2015
blog

Collins Radar Takes The Ups And Downs Out Of Flying

Turbulence? Rockwell Collins had a solution for those bumpy rides in the early 80s with its WXR-700 Doppler Weather Radar....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×